Wogden Foot Nature Reserve is a limestone oasis in the midst of heathlands near the pennine village of Dunford Bridge close to the Yorkshire Border with Derbyshire. The Limestone railway ballast, originally from Derbyshire, was dumped at Wogden Foot shortly after the line closure in 1981 when the Trans Pennine Trail was being developed.
With overnight rain promising a soggy meeting, ten eager Botanists braved the morning showers to enjoy the wild wonder of the moors. The short walk along the trans pennine trail to the reserve revealed a good mix of plants with Alchemilla mollis (Garden Lady’s Mantle) and Crocosmia pottsii x aurea = C. xcrocosmiiflora (Crocosmia) confirming that garden escapes can turn up just about anywhere growing alongside Cirsium palustre (Marsh Thistle), Silene flos-cuculi (Ragged Robin), and Cardamine pratensis (Cuckooflower). Although Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted Orchid), D. praetermissa (Southern Marsh Orchid) and their hybrid were found D. purpurella (Northern Marsh Orchid), recorded on an earlier occasion, could not be located.
On the Reserve Galium saxatile (Heath Bedstraw), Origanum vulgare (Wild Marjoram), Viola hirta (Hairy Violet), Arenaria serpyllifolia (Thyme-leaved Sandwort) and Conopodium majus (Pignut) were found along with Dipsacus fullonum (Wild Teasel), Fragaria vesca (Wild Strawberry), Linum catharticum (Fairy Flax) and Malva moschata (Musk Mallow).
A good range of Sedges and Rushes were also found with Carex spicata (Spiked Sedge) prompting a later visit to check its seed for confirmation. Curiosity got the better of the sheep on the reserve as they approached the group wondering what they were up to, unless they were Botanists in disguise hoping to compare notes. The final tally of over 150 species and possibly another visit made this meeting most enjoyable and worthwhile. Thanks go to Peter &Annefie Roberts and Gordon Bristowe of Barnsley Naturalist and Scientific Society for hosting the day.
Images from Mel Linney's Collection.